Small breaks filled with nourishing activities provide balance. Before the pandemic, Kim Travlos often worked straight through her lunch hour. But she could make the most of her remote workday breaks differently. She knew that, from her West Campus workspace, she could easily walk to Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Or walk around the Duke University Hospital concourse to break up her […]
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There’s a notion being sold and perpetuated, as our jobs have become increasingly entangled with our personal identities. It is the idea that work isn’t so much a means to an end; paying bills, putting food on the table, and financing our lives. But rather a way to live out our passions and realize our dreams for 40-plus hours a week. Hey, wake up to reality! This is how to be happy at work because your dream job is a farce.
This is how to be happy at work without ‘enmeshment,’ a phenomenon that psychologists,” says involves increasingly blurry lines between the self, work, and personal identity.
This concept is emboldened by the idea of a “dream job,” which you can see plastered onto questionably predatory job listings, listicles, and the musings of motivational speakers. The idea is undeniably a trap—how can work, regardless of what you do, assume qualities that don’t feel like work? But the concept remains a fixation for workers who strive to claim a certain sense of fulfillment from their careers.
Does a dream job exist?
If you’re a consultant who pledges to help unhappy workers find their ideal calling, then sure, dream jobs are real. These career coaches and workplace guides perpetuate the idea because it’s profitable. Or at least lucrative enough to keep the dream, so to speak, alive.
“A job is the work you do and the people you work with and the culture of the place you work. Some of that you can seek out, some of it you can control, but a lot of it just happens organically.”
In an aspirational society that celebrates rockstar CEOs, it’s no surprise that many Americans are gunning for their dream jobs. But this is in what’s ultimately a futile quest to attain something that doesn’t necessarily exist. Of course, having such lofty expectations can set workers up for a dramatic crash when reality sets in.
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You Have Control
Studies show that a boss’s work-life balance is an important factor in the work-life balance of their employees. And that if all of us can better utilize our downtimes, everyone will likely to be physically and emotionally healthier.
Recommended: The Third Space according to Adam Fraser is the transitional gap in between what we do. It is not what we do that is the most important. It is what we do, in between what we do, that is what’s the most important.